He developed a passion for flight, and pioneered many techniques for navigating airplanes over the open ocean including drift indicators, the sun compass and bubble sextants.
During the First World War, Byrd was assigned to the Office of Naval Operations and served as secretary and organizer of the Navy Department Commission on Training Camps and trained men in aviation at the aviation ground school in Pensacola, Florida.
Aircraft flights in which he served as a navigator and expedition leader crossed the Atlantic Ocean, a segment of the Arctic Ocean, and a segment of the Antarctic Plateau.
Byrd claimed that his expeditions had been the first to reach both the North Pole and the South Pole by air.
He had the foresight to realize that aviation was going to expand rapidly in the next few years.